I read recently about a hotel that forbad its employees to say “No.” They taught their employees to use a different word when faced with a question that under usual circumstances called for a “no” answer. That word was “actually.” For example, “Do you have a hide-a-bed?” The easy answer would be “no,” but by using “actually” the person at the front desk was caused to think of a solution to the guest’s problem.
Reading this article caused me to think of not only my own language, but more importantly, my attitude. If I substitute negative language to expressions that reflect openness, I know I would be a better person and certainly make Suzy’s life better. “Maturing” seems to have made me grumpier and less flexible.
Maybe I can’t stop saying “no” entirely, but maybe I should try to say “actually” more often.